Ranish Partition Manager
Ranish Partition Manager is a free, open-source project, which you can install on your PC to partition the hard drive. The software for Ranish is available at Sourceforge. The utility is named after Michael Ranish who developed the code and maintains it.
The ability of the tool extends to making several primary partitions. In fact, you can create up to 30 and install different operating systems on each. Besides Windows, you can install Linux, FreeDOS, and FreeBSD on a Ranish partition.
Ranish Partition Manager, which is also known as RPM can be used to copy a partition in its entirety to create a backup disk. This cloning occurs at the bit level. You can also run RPM off a removable disk to create a recovery disk.
Here is our list of the best free partition managers:
- Cute Partition Manager EDITOR’S CHOICE This lightweight partition manager is a very close alternative to Ranish but it will run on Windows 10. If you just want something that is exactly like Ranish, this is the partition manager to go for.
- Cute Partition Manager A lightweight free partition manager that runs off a USB stick.
- Paragon Partition Manager A free partition manager for Windows with a great GUI interface.
- AOMEI Partition Assistant The paid version of this tool for Windows is able to manage partitions dynamically.
- EaseUS Partition Master A free version for home use and a paid version for businesses. This tool can manage backups as well as the creation and alteration of partitions.
- MiniTool Partition Wizard This tool is available in five editions with the lowest being free and the highest including dynamic partition management.
- Free RAW Partition Recovery Available in free and paid versions, this tool deal with disk contents at the bit level.
- DriveClone A pack of disk management tools for Windows that includes partition and backup management.
See also: Best Hard Drive & Disk Cloning Software
The best free partition managers
Our methodology for selecting partition managers like Ranish
We reviewed the market for alternatives to Ranish Partition Manager and assessed the options based on the following criteria:
- A system that will run on the latest version of Windows
- Nice to have a partition tool that will also run on Linux, macOS, and Unix
- The option to copy a partition to a different device for backup
- Recovery disk creation
- Bit-level partition cloning
- A free trial or a demo for a no-cost assessment opportunity
- Value for money from a partition manager that allows partition resizing and backup creation at a reasonable price
1. Cute Partition Manager
Cute Partition Manager is a free tool that will enable you to set up partitions on your PC. This is not a computer-resident app. Instead, you have to copy the program onto a disk or USB stick and boot off it to get to the partition manager screen.
- Runs on Windows
- Basic interface
- Quick action
- Runs on a bootable peripheral
- Free to use
The interface isn’t of the point-and-click GUI variety either. Instead, you use the keyboard to enter character commands. The screen does emulate a form layout through the use of characters, though. The tool is in the format of blue screen BIOS utilities.
- Extremely lightweight tools – great for techs on the move
- Supports a wide range of files systems – great for diverse environments
- Acts as a bootable drive – no need to have an OS installed
- Interface is fairly limited
Although the absence of a GUI interface can be annoying, this scenario does have its advantages. For one thing, without the presence of screen coding, the program is very small. Also, this means that you can use the Cute Partition Manager to set up partitions even before you install an operating system. The utility has a range of file system capabilities including FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, Linux Swap, EXT2, EXT3, and Resier. You can also alter and delete partitions with the utility.
Cute Partition Manager is our top pick for a Ranish Partition Manager alternative because it is about as close as you can get to Ranish without having that system’s demerit of not being available for Windows 10. This is not a sophisticated tool, but that is at the heart of its appeal. It is a no-nonsense partition creator that will run on a bootable USB and let you set up partitions on a disk even before an operating system is installed. Best of all, Cute Partition Manager is free forever.
2. Paragon Partition Manager
Paragon Partition Manager is another great free alternative to the Ranish tool. This tool sits on top of the operating system and is available for Windows. The interface for the utility is very sophisticated and it has a great look to it. This software is part of a free bundle, called Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Windows.
- Attractive interface
- Part of a free tool bundle
- Guided usage
- HFS and NTFS
The basic functions of the tool enable you to create and remove partitions. You can choose between HFS and NTFS and even convert a partition from one file system to the other. The adjustment features are really impressive. You can alter the sizes of partitions and redistribute storage space with a slider.
The tool is also useful as a file management system. It can transfer files to other local drives for you and also to connected storage media. You can copy partitions in their entirety for backup, as well as organizing backup copies; the tool can reload data from a disk back onto a partition.
- The server version supports backup and recovery of virtual environments
- Uses a simple wizard to create a recovery environment for future media recovery
- Easy-to-use interface
- Features drive encryption to keep backups secure
- More suited for enterprise use
All of the functions offered by Paragon Partition Manager are guided, making any storage-related task easy even for non-technical users. Although the basic Paragon Partition Manager is free to use, there are also more comprehensive file storage management features available to businesses in a paid upgrade.
3. AOMEI Partition Assistant
The AOMEI Partition Assistant is available in both free and paid version. There are editions for Windows and Windows Server – both 32-bit and 64-bit. The free version is called the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition and the paid version is called the Professional Edition. It will run on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.
- Windows and Windows Server
- Partition optimizer
- Resize partitions
The free version for Windows Server is called AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite and the paid version is called AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition. It is currently operational for Windows Server 2000, 2003, 2008, 2012, and 2016.
- Supports version for home and businesses
- Is completely free
- Provides continuous backups and incremental restorations – great for lost or deleted files
- Only available for Windows
Both of the free versions of the tool enable you to format partitions, and also create, adjust, and delete them. The paid versions have more advanced features, such as enabling dynamic adjustments to partition sizes. There are two higher-grade options which are the AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited, which enables you to install and run the software on an unlimited number of computers in your company. The other is AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician, which allows you to install and operate the software on the computers of clients that you service, so that is a good option for managed service providers.
4. EaseUS Partition Master
The EaseUS Partition Master is available in both free and paid versions. The free edition is a great tool for home use. The software will run on all versions of the Windows operating system. The paid versions come in a Pro Edition for Windows and a Server Edition that works on Windows Server.
- Versions for Windows and Windows Server
- Convert the partition file system
- Manages backups
The free version has all of the key features that you would get from Ranish Partition Manager. These include the ability to create, adjust, and remove partitions and copy partitions to backup. Business users are expected to pay for the software, but they get much more functionality for their money than the home users of the free edition.
With the paid version of the system you can: copy over the operating system from one partition to another, set partition sizes to adjust automatically to create dynamic volumes, manage virtual disks, convert between MBR and GPT, convert between FAT and NTFS, and create bootable USB sticks.
The software can back up your files systems to USB, HDD, SSD, SD card, memory card, and other external storage media. It will also manage data restoration in the event of accidental damage to your hard drives.
This is a great system that manages an array of storage utilities. It can change the partition labels, wipe and merge partitions, and also check the integrity of disks. If you have a new disk, or you want to wipe out all of the occupied space on a disk, you can choose to format those disks and storage devices through the EaseUS interface.
- Free tool with paid options
- Supports both incremental and differential backups
- Supports multiple recovery mediums (RAID, USB, and NAS)
- Only available for Windows
- Might not be the best option for enterprise-level replication
It is a little annoying that business users can’t access the utility for free. However, EaseUS does offer the Pro version of the Partition Master on a free trial. There is also a free trial for the Server Edition.
5. MiniTool Partition Wizard
The functionality of MiniTool Partition Wizard is a very good match to the utilities of Ranish Partition Manager. You can create, adjust, and remove partitions with this package and it is free for home use.
- Windows up to Windows 11
- Space analyzer
- Disk benchmarking
The partition adjustment capabilities of MiniTool Partition Wizard include facilities to resize partitions and also convert the file system used. You can nominate a partition to be primary or remove that designation.
There are many editions of this tool, with the Free Edition being the entry-level. Paid upgrades include the Pro Edition and the Bootable CD version, which enables you to get access to a computer even when it doesn’t have an operating system or when the computer’s boot sector gets damaged and needs to be restored.
- Supports full operating system migrations to new hardware
- Can restore to multiple mediums such as RAID, USB, or SD card, giving you more recovery options
- Can help analyze disk space prior to backups
- Is designed for home use, not ideal for larger companies
- Marketed toward home use, but can be complicated for non-technical users
Two higher-paid versions are aimed specifically at businesses. These are the Server Edition and the Enterprise Edition. The Technical Edition was created to assist managed service providers in supporting their clients. Those higher versions include dynamic disk management which will resize your disk partitions automatically according to the business demand. The MiniTool Partition Wizard is only available for Windows. However, it will run on all current versions of that operating system.
DriveClone includes a bunch of utilities for managing hard drives and protecting the data that they contain. This utility doesn’t create partitions like Ranish Partition Manager, but it does cover many of the backup features of the Ranish product. This utility will enable you to create a bootable disk and help you recover from disasters that prevent your Windows computer from starting up. The storage medium can be either a CD or a USB stick.
- Backup service
- Create recovery disk or USB
- Works with virtualizations
The cloning facilities of this utility offer lots of options. You can set the system to just perform a straight copy onto CD or USB stick of a partition. You can also restore a partition’s contents from a backup source.
Other cloning options let you create incremental backups, so you can continue to add new files to your backup copy as you add them to your hard drive. This saves you having to copy over the entire contents of a partition every time you want to update a backup. You can also copy a drive’s contents across a network. By this method, you centralize storage away from individual end-user devices to a file server. You can then make the stored files available from any terminal on the network via virtualization through VMWare or Hyper-V.
The tool keeps comprehensive logs of back up transactions so you can trace or block unauthorized copying of stored files.
- Simple tool – great for non-technical users
- Easy to use GUI
- Can create, clone, restore, and modify partitions
- Better suited for smaller environments
DriveClone runs on Windows 7, 8, and 10. It is offered in three versions. The basic package allows access to one user. The next version up covers five users. The top edition of the system is designed for companies with a large number of users. You can download the software for free to evaluate it.
Dividing up disks into partitions has a lot of benefits. It allows you to run several different operating systems on the same computer and the technique can also help you allocate storage space to different user groups or application types. However, the rigid dividing of partitions can sometimes create problems. If your allocation policy means that a logging system runs out of storage space overnight, you will be losing valuable system information and exposing your system to danger. So, you also need to investigate dynamic partitions.
The many benefits that you can derive from using partitions can turn into bottlenecks and extra workload if you don’t organize your partition strategy. You need a partition manager so that you can get all of the benefits of using partitions without encountering the headaches.
Do you use a partition manager? Are you still able to use Ranish Partition Manager, or did you have to stop using it when you upgraded to Windows 10? Have you tried any of the recommended software on our list? Leave a message in the Comments section and share your experience with the community.
Partition Manager FAQs
What is a partition manager?
Partitions create extra drives on a physical hard drive. A partition manager lets you define how much disk space is allocated to each partition and then supports the alteration or deletion of those boundaries.
How do I get to partition manager?
There is a partition manager built into Windows. It is in the Disk Management utility. To get to it:
- Type disk into the Start search field
- Select Create and format hard disk partitions from the search results
The Disk Management utility will open.
What is the purpose of a partition?
A partition creates a new logical drive on a hard disk. Hard disks are available in very large sizes these days and you can make your storage space more manageable by chopping that large area up into smaller zones by creating several drives.